Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Post-Conference Update!

Last weekend I attended the MidSouth SCBWI conference for the first time. I will admit it was a LONG drive. I basically drove for an entire 8hr workday even though I was expecting it to be 6hrs, which isn’t great to start with.

But I like to find the positive side of things when I can, and the big positive for the long drive was that I was able to 1) finish one audio book, 2) listen to another entire book (KISSING TED CALLAHAN (and other guys)) which was super entertaining, 3) almost finish listening to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. I don’t know the last time I read so much in one weekend! Score!

Beyond my epic listening skills, I also had a wonderful time at the conference. Being on the board of COSBCWI, I know how hard it can be to even plan a half-day workshop, and that made me even more impressed with the conference. No minute was wasted, workshops ran like clockwork—it was really phenomenal.

The very impressive hotel lobby/atrium!

I got something out of every part of the conference. I learned new information to help me with my PB drafts and my current YA. It was a pleasure to listen to Darcy Pattison and Kathleen Rushall critique others’ first pages. And I most definitely enjoyed hearing Holly Root compliment my query letter during her query workshop. *grin*

I met a lot of great people and even had some time to brainstorm and write on Saturday evening. Plus, I ended up watching the OSU/Oklahoma football game in the hotel’s bar with a huge group of OSU alumni (a TOTAL coincidence but very fun anyway)!
A few photos of my room. MUCH bigger and nicer than the rooms I usually stay in!

I had my own couch! :)

I’m definitely glad I was able to attend. And now I can set my sights on writing and prepping for my upcoming trip to Vermont!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Conferences, and Weddings, and Parties! Oh my!

September is always a busy (and fun!) month for me because my mother, mother-in-law, and myself all have our birthdays this month. This year September is even crazier though. I have something big scheduled for every weekend this month, including traveling to Vermont and Tennessee on back-to-back weekends!

Next weekend I'm flying to the east coast for my cousin's wedding. I LOVE weddings and I'm really looking forward to seeing my extended family as well.

The following weekend is my 35th birthday party!  And this isn't going to be any normal birthday party either. The theme is...Fairy Tea Party!! I'm envisioning scarfing tea sandwiches and tiny desserts while wearing flower crowns and catching up with friends. :)

But let's not forget this weekend. I'm driving 6+ hours to attend the MidSouth SCBWI conference in Nashville, Tennessee! Although I've been to a few SCBWI conferences now, I've never been to the MidSouth one so this will be a new experience for me. I've heard really great things about the conference and they have wonderful faculty members scheduled.

This will also be the largest conference I've attended. It starts Friday night and lasts until Sunday afternoon and I plan to do as much as possible! I'll be going to five workshops, keynote speeches, critique groups, first-page readings, and a professional critique. Whew!

It's been almost a year since I attended a conference and I'm eager to spend the whole weekend immersed in the kidlit community. I hope to have renewed energy and motivation to come home and dive back into my WIP.

I'll post again with my thoughts on the conference and the rest of my September travels!